Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), the largest retailer worldwide is limiting the sales of ammunition across the United States to 3 boxes per customer, per day due to the increased demand amid the ongoing debate on gun control.
Since the re-election of President Barack Obama last November, many people have been buying guns and ammunition out of fear that the federal government will implement stricter regulations on gun control. The debate became more controversial after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Ashley Hardie, spokesperson for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) said, “Right now we’re monitoring supply issues daily, since supply is limited at this time. We’re trying to take care of as many customers as possible and we’re working with suppliers to put products back on shelves.”
According to Hardie, the purchase limit of 3 boxes per customer, per day will be implemented until Wal-Mart resolves its ammunition supply shortage.
A report from CNN cited that the sales of gun shop owners for semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity magazines surged. According to FBI, since the tragic shooting incident in Connecticut, background checks for gun ownership reached the highest level in 15 years over the past 6 weeks. CNN cited than 25 percent of all the background checks last year were done in November and December.
Data from FBI showed that the applications for firearms background checks increased by 20 percent to 154,873 during the Black Friday sales alone. President Obama recently proposed the implementation of background checks for all gun sales. He also recommended a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
The shares of firearms manufacturer, Smith and Wesson Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SWHC) experienced the highest intraday trading since 2007, after climbing by nearly 10 percent while the stock of Sturm, Ruger & Company (NYSE:RGR) jumped by almost 1 percent after the election. Gun sales started to spike when President Obama indicated his plan to revive the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 during a presidential debate last year.
A 2011 survey from Gallup showed the 47 percent of adult Americans own a gun. According to Steve Sanetti, president and CEO of National Shooting Sport Foundation, “Responsible firearms ownership is popular, mainstream and growing. Americans in record numbers are choosing to own firearms for target shooting, hunting, collecting and personal and home protection.”